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Old 05-27-2018, 02:52 PM   #21
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
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With Eaton Detroit all I told them was "a ton-and-a-half 1946 Chevy/Wayne school bus". After years of silence and blank stares in response to that information, I was stunned to hear the woman on the phone immediately respond with..."160" wheelbase or 195 Hon?". I almost fell over. She had that info in her head and not on a computer!


They might need more info on your rig so I would have it handy, but they blew me away with the scope of their knowledge.


Here's hoping you get the same gal. Just wish I could recall her name.

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Old 06-04-2018, 10:02 AM   #22
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P30

I had a chevy 1 ton van body on the front short bus. It was really tight inside and the roof was right on my head. I traded it to a P30 5 window short bus and love it. It has a lot more room inside and I was even able to build a bunk over the drivers area. It came with a vortex 350 motor and I am in the process of putting a cummins 12 valve in place and converting it to 4 wheel drive. They are ugly as sin but if room is a concern you will be happier with the P30
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kdales View Post
I had a chevy 1 ton van body on the front short bus. It was really tight inside and the roof was right on my head. I traded it to a P30 5 window short bus and love it. It has a lot more room inside and I was even able to build a bunk over the drivers area. It came with a vortex 350 motor and I am in the process of putting a cummins 12 valve in place and converting it to 4 wheel drive. They are ugly as sin but if room is a concern you will be happier with the P30

kdales....can we hear more about the 4wd conversion? Purty please....
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:19 AM   #24
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kdales....can we hear more about the 4wd conversion? Purty please....
x2

Also, I really like the looks of this one. Its the right mix of boxy and curved.

(Not my photo, google search pulled it up on Photobucket, or I'd include the actual photo.)

Photobucket
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:24 PM   #25
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Adding another one for reference (since I can't edit the original post)


http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/198...tml#post298309
"Sally", 1989 P30.
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:25 PM   #26
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So, I found a P30 that I feel is worth looking at.

I'm still not totally sold on the platform as a good choice, but the size seems right, and I've got a neat plan for one (boxyness and all.) .





-2001
-Blue Bird body
-160k miles
-GM diesel
-Carrier rear air conditioning (that works!).

The underside looks pretty good - a little bit of rust, but that's gonna happen in the Northeast.

I figure a chance to see it and drive it might answer enough of the questions in my head to make a decision about weather or not it's a good buy. Worse case, I'm out a tank of gas and a weekend drive down to New Jersey.

I don't have time to go see it until mid-January - I figure if it sits a while, that's better negotiating on price for me, and if it sells before that, then it wasn't meant to be.
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:42 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
So, I found a P30 that I feel is worth looking at.

I'm still not totally sold on the platform as a good choice, but the size seems right, and I've got a neat plan for one (boxyness and all.) .





-2001
-Blue Bird body
-160k miles
-GM diesel
-Carrier rear air conditioning (that works!).

The underside looks pretty good - a little bit of rust, but that's gonna happen in the Northeast.

I figure a chance to see it and drive it might answer enough of the questions in my head to make a decision about weather or not it's a good buy. Worse case, I'm out a tank of gas and a weekend drive down to New Jersey.

I don't have time to go see it until mid-January - I figure if it sits a while, that's better negotiating on price for me, and if it sells before that, then it wasn't meant to be.
The vintage suggests it has the 6.5L V-8 diesel engine. It isn't a bad engine but it isn't a big HP engine and it struggles moving such a big frontal area vehicle down the road at speed. Coupled with the lack of net payload available I would suggest you look for something else.

If the size of the bus is what you want look for an IC AE or BE bus. The AE has a driver's door and is otherwise pretty much the same as the BE in spe'c's. The BE is a lighter duty version of the CE. It will have a better motor and heavier duty chassis and suspension giving you a much larger net payload available.

If you like the boxy look you may want to see if you can find a Blue Bird TC1000. It is a lighter duty and smaller version of the TC2000.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:59 PM   #28
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I have a 92 carpenter p30 with the 5.7 gas engine. Have no problem cruising at 65-70 but any hill (defined as 2 pieces of stacked paper) can be a challenge. I assume a diesel will have more torque, but don't know.

Love the handling, the straight walls, and the looks, and it fits in my driveway.

My bus was from a semi rural district and with 240k all of the springs need to be replaced for $1800, so check that out. Also the exhaust is on the driver's side so bath and tanks will be more difficult.

We all have different tastes and needs so it comes down to you.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:53 PM   #29
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Yeah, that's why I want to actually go drive the thing and see just what it does.
I know it's not going to be a hotrod of a bus, but it might suit my needs.
It might be noisy, slow, and awful, but there's only one way to find out.



I seem to be good at finding interesting things with terrible drivetrain/powerplant combinations.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #30
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ive taken some pretty lackluster drivetrains and lit them up over the years.. it actually is fun to do
-Christopher
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:41 PM   #31
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Another P30-based conversion.
(At least I think its a P30, could be a little heavier chassis, but close enough.)

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/hel...les-25975.html
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:31 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
So, I found a P30 that I feel is worth looking at.

I'm still not totally sold on the platform as a good choice, but the size seems right, and I've got a neat plan for one (boxyness and all.) .





-2001
-Blue Bird body
-160k miles
-GM diesel
-Carrier rear air conditioning (that works!).

The underside looks pretty good - a little bit of rust, but that's gonna happen in the Northeast.

I figure a chance to see it and drive it might answer enough of the questions in my head to make a decision about weather or not it's a good buy. Worse case, I'm out a tank of gas and a weekend drive down to New Jersey.

I don't have time to go see it until mid-January - I figure if it sits a while, that's better negotiating on price for me, and if it sells before that, then it wasn't meant to be.

Soo. . .in 3.5 hours, I'm going to go look at this turkey in person.
Time to find out if if its got potential, or should remain someone elses problem.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:29 PM   #33
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Location: Rio Grande Valley
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Year: 1995
Chassis: International, Thomas Built
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke, 3800 T444E
Minibird visit

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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
Soo. . .in 3.5 hours, I'm going to go look at this turkey in person.
Time to find out if if its got potential, or should remain someone elses problem.
So how did the visit for you go?
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:09 PM   #34
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Yeah, waiting on pins and needles.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:36 PM   #35
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So how did the visit for you go?

Well. . .I don't own one (yet.)


Short version, someone put a deposit on it, so it's technically sold. (That's fine by me - I was very noncommital about it, and it was a few weeks between when I inquired about it and went to see it.)

But- I DID get to see it, and I love the size. It doesn't feel as big as even a short full-size bus, and the headroom was GREAT (Easily 6'2" or 6'3").

Still unknown if I'd need to get out and push to keep it moving uphill on the highway. That's the one thing I'm still on the fence about with this model bus.

On the plus side, I did wander around their lot a little bit, and I think I can solidly rule out a cutaway/van chasis bus. They're too short for what I want to do. I also looked at an 8-window CE2000 - I think something like that would work, but boy does it feel BIG standing next to it. A 5-window might do quite well though. . . .

So it's back to the drawing board for a little while. Maybe another P30 will pop up, or maybe I'll find a nice, short full-size bus. It is getting close to the end of the year when districts sell off their old buses, so. . .

No bus, but it was a decent fact-finding trip.
Also had really good Italian in Little Italy in Wilmington, DE.
Going to visit a small railroad museum on my way home tomorrow.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:34 AM   #36
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Well,.... I am the recent owner of one, in particular, that exact one! That’s why I had to ask about it, I have not been able to go see it because I live too far away. Buying a one way plane ticket and driving it home. There was no down payment for it, I have paid it in full last week.
I will be picking it up in a couple weeks, to drive 1500 miles home. I will be starting a thread on it as well as YouTube vids. Plan is to have a full set up, plus the conversion to 4x4.
Kind of perfect timing because I created an account yesterday and found this thread, meant to be...? I’m sure hoping so...
Right now playing around with a few different floor plans I mocked up in my warehouse. Still not which direction to go but I have time for that. I plan to build this out within a couple of months.
Will keep y’all updated!
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:10 AM   #37
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Well,.... I am the recent owner of one, in particular, that exact one! That’s why I had to ask about it, I have not been able to go see it because I live too far away. Buying a one way plane ticket and driving it home. There was no down payment for it, I have paid it in full last week.
I will be picking it up in a couple weeks, to drive 1500 miles home. I will be starting a thread on it as well as YouTube vids. Plan is to have a full set up, plus the conversion to 4x4.
Kind of perfect timing because I created an account yesterday and found this thread, meant to be...? I’m sure hoping so...
Right now playing around with a few different floor plans I mocked up in my warehouse. Still not which direction to go but I have time for that. I plan to build this out within a couple of months.
Will keep y’all updated!

It looks as good in person as it does in the photos. The inside is clean too, and it's got the "textured" ceiling with the zillion little holes in it. They're right about the headroom too - the thing feels quite roomy inside.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:26 PM   #38
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It looks as good in person as it does in the photos. The inside is clean too, and it's got the "textured" ceiling with the zillion little holes in it. They're right about the headroom too - the thing feels quite roomy inside.
I appreciate that extra little info, was hard making the decision based off photos and a “salespersons” word. I do apologize however that you made that little trip to find out it was already sold. They did send me videos of it running and driving it. Picks up easily but does have a hard time picking up after 55-60. Maybe some tuning and removing the governor will help that. I’m not looking to do 100mph of course but at least 65-70 safely after the conversion, flat or uphill.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:04 AM   #39
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I appreciate that extra little info, was hard making the decision based off photos and a “salespersons” word. I do apologize however that you made that little trip to find out it was already sold. They did send me videos of it running and driving it. Picks up easily but does have a hard time picking up after 55-60. Maybe some tuning and removing the governor will help that. I’m not looking to do 100mph of course but at least 65-70 safely after the conversion, flat or uphill.



Not trying to be a smartA, but why does everyone insist on their bus doing 65-70 mph up hill? Why the hurry? An RV/bus seems to me like the wrong vehicle to get in a hurry in. Something that I am missing? Is it a status thing? Am I just getting too old? I mean, I liked to go fast when I was young, but then I was racing a 1968 Camaro (396, 4 sp, positrac, blueprinted, with addon headers, aluminum intake, big carb, bla, bla), but a schoolbus? I think I would rather just enjoy the ride and let a few cars pass me.


Now the 4x4 conversion I can understand. I have a 1989 P30 with a 454 engine, 5-6 mpg, auto, low geared rearend, aluminum body, pocket doors up front, rollup back door, 7' ceiling and 30" loading/floor height, 18' behind the drivers seat, 10' tall, 14,100 lb GVW, FedEx looking, mess. I hope that the guy doing the 4x4 conversion will do a build thread on the 4x4 conversion - If I read that part right. I'd like to convert mine to off road and maybe a diesel (4BT?) despite the crappy departure angle (maybe an air lift suspension?) if I could find the money. Oddly enough, my bus is 5' longer but will do a much sharper u turn on city streets than the P30.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:53 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by kidharris View Post
Not trying to be a smartA, but why does everyone insist on their bus doing 65-70 mph up hill? Why the hurry? An RV/bus seems to me like the wrong vehicle to get in a hurry in. Something that I am missing? Is it a status thing? Am I just getting too old? I mean, I liked to go fast when I was young, but then I was racing a 1968 Camaro (396, 4 sp, positrac, blueprinted, with addon headers, aluminum intake, big carb, bla, bla), but a schoolbus? I think I would rather just enjoy the ride and let a few cars pass me.


Now the 4x4 conversion I can understand. I have a 1989 P30 with a 454 engine, 5-6 mpg, auto, low geared rearend, aluminum body, pocket doors up front, rollup back door, 7' ceiling and 30" loading/floor height, 18' behind the drivers seat, 10' tall, 14,100 lb GVW, FedEx looking, mess. I hope that the guy doing the 4x4 conversion will do a build thread on the 4x4 conversion - If I read that part right. I'd like to convert mine to off road and maybe a diesel (4BT?) despite the crappy departure angle (maybe an air lift suspension?) if I could find the money. Oddly enough, my bus is 5' longer but will do a much sharper u turn on city streets than the P30.
my goal is to not be the guy holding up the Volkswagen hippie van on that long hill going over the mountain passes - lol
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